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  1. Part 1: Not leaving well enough alone. Okay, after the success of my thread on fixing an Atari 2600, I've decided to try my luck at the Super Nintendo. Recently I became the proud owner of my very first SNES!!! This is such a great console. I wish I could have owned one as a kid. Instead we got a Genesis, which I still think was probably the better choice. Many of the same games released on both systems and the Genesis versions were often the definitive version...well...at least that's what I tell myself. I digress... Well the SNES I bought was guaranteed to work or my money back...and it indeed does work just fine. "But wait, I thought this thread is about fixing a broken SNES"? Yes, yes, don't get your cords in a bunch. I'm getting to that. While yes, the SNES I bought works fine and I have been having a bunch of fun playing my small collection of real carts, what I didn't know when I bought it was not all Super Nintendo's are alike. And there's one important difference in particular that I'm referring to - Video Quality. I also recently bought an Open Source Scan Converter (OSSC). However, there's something amiss when I hook my SNES up the the OSSC via RGB SCART. It's underwhelming, a bit softer than I was hoping. Much more so than my Genesis via RGB. So I went on a search to find out why. The guys over at My Life in Gaming did a very nice video which explains the issue: With a nagging sense of buyers remorse I opened my SNES and removed the RF shielding covering the CPU chip-sets: Okay, that's not a big deal. I can just buy an RGB or ultraHDMI like mod for it, right? Sadly, no! There is no mod currently available for my console. I resigned myself to the fact I would just have to be okay with a softer image. But, you know me. I couldn't leave it alone. I became obsessed. I...may have...gone a little overboard...again...and bought another SNES. Well, actually, it was two. The first is a 1-chip missing parts, sold as is and not working. It looks to have been worked on previously, Given the desirability of 1-chip consoles, I'm probably taking a bit of a gamble here. But that's the point of this thread - to challenge myself to fix a broken SNES. The second SNES I bought is just for parts, so I can piece together any missing from the 1-chip and not have to pilfer any from my current working console. The biggest issue it looks to have right off the bat is some ugly rework of the cart slot. I'm really hoping the contact pads weren't worn away by someone who doens't know how to use a braided solder wick properly. It looks bad in the photo, but Until I get it in hand, I can't know for sure. My hope is that nothing is fried or corrupted, and I can just rework the solder joints. So that's where I'm at with this project thus far. My goals for this project are: Learn about the SNES and have fun diagnosing and solving problems. Refine my technique using an oscilloscope, multimeter, soldering iron, and reflow station. Learn more about electronics and schematics. Compare board revisions, discover interesting anecdotes and asides in the SNES relm. Eventually have a working 1-chip SNES main board I can drop into my current SNES. Then compare the picture quality. So far I only stand to loose $60. But it's a descent price to pay for the fun I'll have trying to fix the hardware, and I may just end up with 3 working SNES consoles. That would be GREAT! To be continued...
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